Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.
Editors' rating: 4 out of 5
The good: The Alienware M14x, Dell's latest Alienware laptop, manages to pack amazing performance into a smaller-than-expected body with plenty of configuration options.
The bad: High-end configurations can be insanely expensive, and Alienware's laptop design is overdue for a refresh.
The bottom line: It's tough to find mobile PC gaming in a package that's neither too big nor too small. The Alienware M14x comes very close, with plenty of component options and a size that's hefty, but not backbreaking.
The good: The Epson WorkForce 840 produces outstanding print quality in record time and offers an abundance of workhorse features, including autoduplexing, wireless networking, support for mobile printing, and easy setup for both USB and network connections.
The bad: Minor annoyances include slow photo print speeds and the omission of USB and Ethernet cables.
The bottom line: The Epson WorkForce 840 costs a bit more than the average all-in-one inkjet, but its strong performance and long list of features more than justify its price and CNET's Editors' Choice Award.
The good: The Panasonic TC-PGT30 has excellent overall picture quality, with deep black levels, accurate color, and solid video processing. It can handle 1080p/24 sources and bright rooms well and exhibits the nearly perfect screen uniformity of plasma, as well as very good 3D picture quality. It includes a Wi-Fi dongle, its Internet suite is simple to use yet content-rich, and the styling is handsome with a 1.5-inch-deep panel.
The bad: Picture quality flaws include subtly fluctuating black and gray levels as well as inaccurate gamma that washes out shadows somewhat. The GT30 has fewer picture controls than the competition, doesn't include 3D glasses, and uses significantly more power than LCD TVs.
The bottom line: Excellent all-around picture quality combined with improved features and styling should make the Panasonic TC-PGT30 TV a favorite among bigger-spending plasma seekers.
The good: The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G impresses with the addition of a touch screen and the Android operating system. The handheld also offers enhanced messaging features, great call quality, and a good camera.
The bad: The user interface won't appeal to everyone. The smartphone can occasionally be sluggish.
The bottom line: The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G continues the Sidekick's legacy as an excellent messaging device and also serves as a great entry-level smartphone.
The good: The Acer Iconia Tab offers Android Honeycomb on a 10.1-inch screen along with GPS, front and rear cameras, Adobe Flash compatibility, full-size USB host port, HDMI output, and a reasonable price.
The bad: The Iconia Tab is thick, and one of the heaviest consumer tablets we've seen. Some locally stored HD video files wouldn't play properly.
The bottom line: Acer's Iconia Tab offers the features of the Motorola Xoom at iPad-beating prices but weighs in as the heftiest Android tablet yet.
The good: At $400, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer has the lowest price of any Honeycomb tablet. Also, its high-quality screen and relatively cheap keyboard/dock make it an attractive option.
The bad: A few things keep the Transformer from completely blowing us away: the choppy recording and playback of the camcorder; its sharp edges; a build quality that's somewhat lacking; and problems that arise when docking.
The bottom line: The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is a low-price, quality Honeycomb tablet with useful options.
The good: A direct-injection engine and other efficiency technologies keep the fuel economy of the 2012 Ford Focus in the 30s. A voice command system offers excellent control over navigation, music, and paired cell phones. Automatic parallel parking is a nifty trick.
The bad: The dual-clutch transmission does not always shift smoothly. The touch screen is set too far from the driver for easy reach.
The bottom line: Although the 2012 Ford Focus has some quirks, it is a comfortable everyday kind of car that gets very good fuel economy and offers a full range of cabin tech.
The good: The Pioneer AVH-P6300BT DVD AV receiver has USB and iPod/iPhone connectivity as standard, as well as Pandora Link connectivity with compatible iOS 4 devices. The 7-inch touch screen is easy to view in broad daylight and from a wide viewing angle. Bluetooth hands-free calling features automatic address book sync.
The bad: Bluetooth audio streaming is not available, leaving owners of Android and BlackBerry devices stuck using the analog audio input. Voice command is also not available. Adding navigation to AVH's feature set requires a pricey external module.
The bottom line: For those wanting a large screen for DVD playback that can have an unobtrusive presence while not in use, the Pioneer AVH-P6300BT is a solidly performing option, especially for iPod/iPhone owners.